Strong Regional T1 (Free) vs. T14 ($)

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Strong Regional T1 (Free) vs. T14 ($)

Strong Regional T1 (Free)
21
70%
T14 COA ~ 150k
9
30%
 
Total votes: 30

muskies970
Posts: 340
Joined: Mon Nov 26, 2012 7:28 pm

Strong Regional T1 (Free) vs. T14 ($)

Postby muskies970 » Tue Mar 26, 2013 3:08 pm

A lot of these threads have to do with choosing between similar schools, but I have a question about two completely different choices. Any advice or insight would be greatly appreciated.

I was recently offered a full ride at a strong, smaller regional school (rank ~40) and with living assistance from my parents the COA would be $0. The school is in the state I would like to live and practice in, and some of the extra perks in the scholarship include the ability to work closely with a professor my 2L and 3L year as a research assistant and have career advisors during 3L year and when I graduate. I am only tempted to take this offer because I could graduate debt free and the school has decent career outcomes (Fed + State clerkships ~ 20% of the class). I understand I would still have to work really hard to receive top grades, but it seems I would have all the tools to succeed here.

On the other hand, I have two T14 offers I am considering (Gtown and Michigan) with COA of ~150k each. I have visited both schools, loved the academic environment and plethora of opportunities, and could see myself at either. However I am worried about ending up at median and having to fight for a job to pay off the debt. I am also hoping to get off the waitlist at UVA if that makes a difference.

Would choosing the lower ranked school negatively impact my career options for life, being a signal to employers, and is the quality of experience that much greater at a T14 school that it's worth taking out 150k in debt? I would prefer not to work in biglaw to have to pay off my debts, as I would like to either work in criminal law, DOJ, or some other public interest/ government related law field.

Thoughts??

ironbmike
Posts: 379
Joined: Wed Jun 27, 2012 12:31 pm

Re: Strong Regional T1 (Free) vs. T14 ($)

Postby ironbmike » Tue Mar 26, 2013 3:25 pm

What is the regional school?

matrim
Posts: 106
Joined: Fri Feb 01, 2013 8:21 pm

Re: Strong Regional T1 (Free) vs. T14 ($)

Postby matrim » Tue Mar 26, 2013 3:32 pm

If you are ok working in the region of the regional school...then I'd say DEBT FREE is the easy choice. Only a handfull of T14 would be worth taking over a full ride in the area you want. Regional schools place well in their sphere of influence and either way, you would have no debt giving you some flexibility in chosing work. Just my thoughts on it.

PRgradBYU
Posts: 1419
Joined: Thu Jan 10, 2013 8:04 pm

Re: Strong Regional T1 (Free) vs. T14 ($)

Postby PRgradBYU » Tue Mar 26, 2013 3:35 pm

Kinda depends on the regional school you're considering.

muskies970
Posts: 340
Joined: Mon Nov 26, 2012 7:28 pm

Re: Strong Regional T1 (Free) vs. T14 ($)

Postby muskies970 » Tue Mar 26, 2013 3:36 pm

PRgradBYU wrote:Kinda depends on the regional school you're considering.


Since everyone is asking and you could probably tell from my post history, it's the University of Maryland.

Redfactor
Posts: 374
Joined: Fri Jun 10, 2011 8:52 pm

Re: Strong Regional T1 (Free) vs. T14 ($)

Postby Redfactor » Tue Mar 26, 2013 3:37 pm

Which regional is it?
Are there stips to the scholarship?
Is it located in your desired market / does it allow for quality networking with firms you'd consider working for?

150k is so much money. It will play an impact on your fiscal abilities for a very long time. Without knowing specifics, I would encourage you to go regional, especially if you are not looking to break into biglaw.

muskies970
Posts: 340
Joined: Mon Nov 26, 2012 7:28 pm

Re: Strong Regional T1 (Free) vs. T14 ($)

Postby muskies970 » Tue Mar 26, 2013 3:40 pm

Redfactor wrote:Which regional is it?
Are there stips to the scholarship?
Is it located in your desired market / does it allow for quality networking with firms you'd consider working for?

150k is so much money. It will play an impact on your fiscal abilities for a very long time. Without knowing specifics, I would encourage you to go regional, especially if you are not looking to break into biglaw.



Only stips are good academic standing and from what I can tell there would be good networking opportunities in the alumni base.

Basically I'm asking if it's common/ ok to pass up a T14 school for this type of opportunity.

User avatar
romothesavior
Posts: 14772
Joined: Fri Jun 26, 2009 4:29 pm

Re: Strong Regional T1 (Free) vs. T14 ($)

Postby romothesavior » Tue Mar 26, 2013 4:01 pm

I think Maryland wins this easily. You are from there, it is going to be free (as infree, no cost to you at all), and you don't want to work in biglaw.

ironbmike
Posts: 379
Joined: Wed Jun 27, 2012 12:31 pm

Re: Strong Regional T1 (Free) vs. T14 ($)

Postby ironbmike » Tue Mar 26, 2013 4:21 pm

romothesavior wrote:I think Maryland wins this easily. You are from there, it is going to be free (as infree, no cost to you at all), and you don't want to work in biglaw.


Agreed. Seems like it fits your goals.

Redfactor
Posts: 374
Joined: Fri Jun 10, 2011 8:52 pm

Re: Strong Regional T1 (Free) vs. T14 ($)

Postby Redfactor » Tue Mar 26, 2013 5:49 pm

muskies970 wrote:The school is in the state I would like to live and practice in, and some of the extra perks in the scholarship include the ability to work closely with a professor my 2L and 3L year as a research assistant and have career advisors during 3L year and when I graduate.



I think Maryland is the way to go here for sure.

Just out of curiosity, these career advisors during 3L, are they somehow different than the career advisors that general students get? As written, it sounds like Maryland is putting significant effort into your education - I would take them up on it. Is this a named scholarship / program that they've extended to you (I don't know much about the school)?

Grats and good luck!

Hutz_and_Goodman
Posts: 1413
Joined: Mon Apr 30, 2012 10:42 am

Re: Strong Regional T1 (Free) vs. T14 ($)

Postby Hutz_and_Goodman » Wed Mar 27, 2013 5:51 pm

this isn't close. even if you wanted big law I would go strong regional with full ride+. I did that over a couple T14s and so far it's working out well (1L summer is paid big law for half and federal judge internship for other half).

one thing I always suggest: ask the school to put you in touch with former recipients of the scholarship, and use google to try and find others. at my school the majority of people with this award over the last ten years are in big law, which solidified my decision to make this choice. I think at most schools the outcomes for people with the top named scholarships tends to be pretty good.

also, if you post the name of the scholarship on here I'm sure people can help you track down recipients (this if the type of thing people almost always list on their lawyer profile page).




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